Gig Review: Music Like A Vitamin, HMV Picturehouse

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Music Like A Vitamin is the brainchild of Rod Jones (Idlewild) and Emma Pollock as a fundraising event as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, with shows both in Edinburgh and Glasgow. This year’s event focussed mainly on showcasing a charity album put together by collaborations from some of the finest Scottish artists, all written within a 5 day period.

The structure of the show involved a selection of the album’s artists performing solo sets before all the artists came together at the end to perform the album in full. Edinburgh’s artists were Karine Polwart, Scott Hutchison and Broken Records in running order which provided a nice crescendo, from Karine’s beautiful traditional folk melodies to Scott’s reliable renditions of Frightened Rabbit favourites, ending with Broken Records energetic full band set. Although each of the performances were captivating and couldn’t be faulted, it felt somewhat disjointed as the sets were incredibly short and very different from each other, with sometimes awkward silences in-between the acts.

After a short interlude where the relevant thanks were made for making this happen and a short speech to remind us why we all here, the whole album was played through (with Jamie from Broken Records standing in for James Graham). The songs themselves were all catchy with clever lyrics, showing clearly influences from each individual artist within the collaborations and performed flawlessly with the musicians getting the whole audience behind them with every song. Again though, due to the huge range of artists involved, the change over of performers between each song interrupted the flow of the set somewhat and so it didn’t seem as polished as it could.

This of course didn’t detract from the fact that this had the greatest of intentions behind it and all for a magnificent cause, and each of the performances themselves were truly great, meaning that no-one went home unsatisfied, or without an album in their hand. On the whole I feel that the event was a real success, giving the audience a rare opportunity to see collaborations between talented Scottish artists that they might not normally see, whilst also getting the opportunity to support a worthy charity at the same time and unlike some charity albums, I know that this one will definitely be making it into my regular playlist.

Charlotte Pike

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